George McKenna, a member of the Los Angeles Board of Education, will be the featured speaker at the 8 a.m. Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast Jan. 16 at the Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles.
McKenna served as principal of Washington High School in Los Angeles, where he transformed the failing preparatory school into one where 80 percent of its graduates went to college.
Because of his success at Washington, a movie was made of his life, “The George McKenna Story,” starring Denzel Washington. McKenna’s success at Washington has been modeled throughout the nation, and he has served as a consultant for various school districts.
He has received awards and citations from civic, legislative and professional organizations. In 1989, McKenna received the Congressional Black Caucus’ Chairman’s Award and in 1997 was elected into the National Alliance of Black School Educators’ Hall of Fame. McKenna received his doctorate in education from Xavier University in New Orleans.
Ivan Houston, former chief executive officer of the Golden State Insurance Co., will receive the Drum Major Award from the sponsoring African American Catholic Center for Evangelization.
Houston has served the community through the Black Agenda, the NAACP, the Urban League and the YMCA.
Houston has served on the board of directors of Kaiser Aluminum, Metromedia and Pacific Bell, as well as Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. He served in the United States Army during World War II, earning a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell, regional bishop of the San Gabriel Region, will be honored for his service to the African American community.
Bishop O’Connell has served as pastor of Ascension, St. Frances Cabrini and St. Michael churches in South Los Angeles. He has provided spiritual guidance to parishioners in seeking a safe community.
Tickets to the breakfast are $40 per person, and can be purchased by calling (323) 777-2151.
The African American Catholic Center for Evangelization (AACCFE) serves approximately 25,000 African American Catholics in Los Angeles and is committed to evangelization and building a faith community — a community that is truly Black, authentically Catholic and an integral part of the Universal Church. For more information, visit: www.aaccfe.org